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HankandJoey

Behavior Changed Overnight (7 yrs) - Car, shadows, sounds

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HankandJoey

We have two male Cairns that we think are brothers. They will be 7 in July. They have been opposites from day one. One scared of his shadow (Joey) and one fearful of absolutely nothing (Hank). The blessing though in our life since we travel a lot is they both loved the car! Until this past fall. We got in the car for a long ride and Hank started shaking and crawling all over the car. All I could do on this seven hour trip was hold him. I finally figured out if I held his ears down and applied pressure he would settle down. He also has started being really sensitive to sound. For instance, someone slamming a garbage can in the neighborhood will set him into a shaking fit. Normally, this would be Joey not Hank. Hank is our sturdy man but all of a sudden he has been extremely sensitive to sound. I feel like this could be a sign of pain (I've read), but I'm not sure where to start. Have any of you had this experience with your Cairn? Thank you in advance for any insight and help:-)

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sanford

When Carrington started to lose his hearing in his teens, he became super sensitive and reactive to unexpected or loud noises which never phased him before. (His vision was also declining and perhaps one or both conditions disoriented him).

Like you, I would worry if the shaking was due to pain of some sort and report it to the vet, and to also check his hearing and vision, but at only 7 years old, age is quite unlikely to be the culprit.

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Idaho Cairns

We've seen similar behaviors in our older Cairn but it was incremental in nature--particularly when riding in a vehicle--the experience went from great enthusiasm to serious restlessness over a few years.  It was difficult to accept that behavior because it was so diametric to earlier experiences.  We often leave her at home for short trips around town while our other girl gets to ride along.

I would be a bit concerned about an sudden fear--one that developed quickly and expanded to a range of stimulus. 

I would agree with Sanford and have a consultation with a vet as a means of diagnosing any possible physical cause to the behavior.  If none is found then you will probably have to simply endure the behavior.

 

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pkcrossley

Agree with everybody. Sudden anything is always a signal for a trip to the vet. It could be an ear infection that either hurts or makes riding in the car nauseating, but the fact that he lets you hold his ears suggests that it could be an inner ear thing, nothing you can touch. If no medical explanation, I guess you will have to investigate psychological --maybe he has had some kind of traumatizing experience you don't know about. All in all, it sounds like some kind of acute infection or injury. Only a vet can help at this point, it seems. 

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